Taught course

Early Childhood Education

University of Sheffield · Department of Education Studies

Entry requirements

An honours degree and two years’ experience of working full-time with or for young children. If you don’t have an undergraduate degree, you can register for the Diploma and transfer to a Masters course when you’ve completed enough coursework.

Months of entry


Course content

This course blends distance learning with face-to-face teaching. It’s open to early childhood professionals anywhere in the world, including early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, teachers, nursery nurses, voluntary and independent providers, and inspectors and managers working in areas relevant to early childhood.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll develop the skills you need to carry out high-quality educational research relevant to your own culture. Those skills include a clearer understanding of the policies, practice and theories that underpin your work.

You’ll discuss international approaches and educational change with leading experts.

Core modules

  • Early Childhood Education: history and policy
  • Development Learning and Curriculum
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
  • Dissertation (Early Childhood Education)


You'll study mostly at home, staying in contact with your tutor by telephone, post and email. You must attend five residential weekends in Sheffield during the two years of the course.


Each module is assessed through a 6,000- word assignment. A final 15–20,000-word dissertation represents one-third of the MA (60 credits out of 180). On completion, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for doctoral study on our Early Childhood Education EdD.

Course duration

2-3 years part-time distance learning

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24-36 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)114 222 8177